(changes dateline, updates throughout)
U.S. giant Verizon Communications Inc. announced Monday that it will pay $130 billion for British-based Vodafone PLC's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile operator.
The mammoth transaction would leave Verizon with full control of its wireless unit and mark Vodafone's exit from the U.S. market after 14 years.
The deal, which remains subject to approval by shareholders and regulators, is expected to close in the first half of 2014, the parties said in a joint statement.
The offer comprises $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in Verizon shares and $11 billion in proceeds from other transactions.
Established in 2000, Verizon Wireless quickly became a source of friction between Vodafone and 55-percent owner Verizon Communications.
Each of the partners made attempts to buy out the other, but an accord remained elusive until now.
"This transaction will enhance value across platforms and allow Verizon to operate more efficiently, so we can continue to focus on producing more seamless and integrated products and solutions for our customers," Verizon Communications chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said.
The agreement, according to Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao, "allows both Vodafone and Verizon to execute on their long-term strategic objectives." EFE